The 3-day course explains how water quality is regulated in the EU and UK, outlines the UK approach to permitting and compliance, and discusses the policy shift towards integrated catchment management. It is aimed at those working or planning to work in industry, regulation or nature conservation and who need a clear overview of the current regulatory environment and procedures. Read more Read less

The course provides an overview of the policies and procedures governing the quality of environmental waters and waste water in the UK. It is aimed at current and future practitioners, regulators and conservationists who require a detailed understanding of EU water regulations and guidance on how to navigate the UK permitting process.

The 3-day course is organised into daily themes and delivered by experts in water quality strategy, regulation and planning, and academic researchers working in the fields of water treatment processes, catchment science, and soil erosion and conservation. Day 1 of the course focuses on the UK and EU regulation that underpins our current and future management of the water environment, waste water and pollution reduction options. Day 2 outlines how these regulations have been transposed to the UK, and provides a clear step-by-step account of the permitting and compliance process. Day 3 focuses on how the Water Framework Directive is driving the UK to a catchment-based approach and explores current approaches to integrating wider environmental and social-economic issues into sustainable water management.

The course was developed in partnership with the Foundation for Water Research (FWR) and is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). It is taught by a team of current and former regulators and policy-makers, and academic researchers from Cranfield University

At a glance

Course structure

The course will be delivered primarily via lectures and will be supported by site visits, such as to Cranfield University’s sewage treatment works, pilot plant and test farm.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this short course you will be able to:

  • Explain the current approach to water quality planning and regulation in the UK
  • Describe how EU regulations are translated into UK policy
  • List the key EU Directives, their regulatory functions and timelines for implementation
  • Identify the steps to permitting for water quality in the UK and repercussions for violation of water quality standards
  • Link WFD planning with goals of other EU directives
  • Outline the wider environmental and social-economic issues related to catchment-based water quality management, and approaches
  • Locate all relevant policy and regulatory documents
  • Understand how regulation links to the implementation of research and the need for ongoing dialogue on these issues.

Core content

Day One - Introduction to environmental water regulation: UK and EU context

  • UK and EU Regulatory Principles and Law
  • EU Directives (Water Framework, Urban Waste Water, Industrial Emissions).

Day Two - Planning, permitting, modelling and enforcement in the UK

  • Water quality planning (approaches, monitoring, modelling)
  • Permitting (IPPC/Water/Waste, Regulations, Permitting application and processes)
  • Enforcement.

Day Three - Integrated catchment management of water quality

  • Multiple benefits - linking WFD to other EU Directives
  • Public health and water source protection
  • Flood risk management
  • Agriculture and diffuse pollution
  • Social/Economic dimensions
  • Water security.

Who should attend

This course is highly relevant to a wide range of practitioners, managers, consultants and scientists in the public, private and third-sector, including those involved in:

  • Environmental/water regulation at the local authority, national and international levels
  • Water supply and waste water treatment
  • Management of waste streams from industry
  • Nature conservation  Rivers Trusts and environmental NGOs
  • Academic research.


Accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) for career and professional development


  • Dr Martin Griffiths

An expert in water quality strategy, regulation and policy. He was Head of Water Quality Policy in the Environment Agency and latterly Deputy Director of Regulation in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in London. He is a Visiting Professor of Water Policy at Cranfield University.

  • Mr Chris Chubb

An expert in water regulation and permitting. Whilst working for the Environment Agency and its predecessors, he was the principal policy expert developing the Agency’s water quality permitting policy, procedures, and guidance

  • Dr Tony Warn, MBE

An expert in water planning and modelling. Whilst working for the Environment Agency and its predecessors he developed the SIMCAT model and other statistical and water planning tools and policy. He continues to develop SIMCAT and assists in policy drafting.

External speakers in recent years have included:


  • Ifeanyi Chukwujekwu (Marine Management Organisation)
  • Peter Cosgrove (Marine Management Organisation)
  • Judy England (Environment Agency)
  • Martin Fairley (ACO Technologies plc)
  • Barrie Howe (Environment Agency)
  • Anu Palmer (Alpheus Environmental Ltd)


  • Lauren Billington (Environment Agency)
  • Amanda MacLean (Environment Agency)
  • Theo Thomas (London Waterkeeper)
  • Andrew Walker (Yorkshire Water)


£930 - Professional/trade association discount

£900 - Multiple bookings (min five people)

£585 - Current PhD student at a UK, EU or international university (40% discount on standard rate. Proof of registration required)

For those who would like to join the course for less than the full three days, the following per diem rates apply:

£325 - Standard

£310 - Professional/trade association discount

£300 - Multiple bookings (min five people)

£195 - Current PhD student at a UK, EU or international university (40% discount on standard rate. Proof of registration required).

Accommodation options and prices

Accommodation is available at Mitchell Hall which is located on campus. All rooms are en-suite and bookings are on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. If you would like to book accommodation for this short course at Mitchell Hall, please indicate this on the registration form and we will arrange this for you.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.